The following itinerary outlines the type of rides, wine tastings and other local excursions on offer at Cape Winelands Riding, situated in the centre of the triangle created by the three world-famous wine regions of Paarl, Franschhoek and Stellenbosch in the Western Cape.
Guests can book an itinerary in its entirety or pick and choose from the different options to build their own unique horseback holiday based on personal taste, level of riding experience, size of group and preferred length of stay.
Unless otherwise arranged, meals are at quality local restaurants with either a set menu or à la carte. These restaurants have been carefully selected for your enjoyment and showcase the food and wine the region has become so famous for.
Please note that this is strictly a sample itinerary. Excursions are all subject to seasonal changes and are weather dependent on the day.
Cape Winelands Riding will meet you on arrival at Cape Town International Airport and then it’s a 40-minute drive to your accommodation at the foot of Simonsberg Mountain in the Cape Winelands – your base for the duration of your stay.
Once settled, in the afternoon we’ll take you for a short, gentle ride, giving you a feel for your horse and the general landscape. Then, back at your accommodation, enjoy poolside sundowners before a seafood dinner paired with local wines.
After breakfast, we saddle up and head into local vineyards and orchards, stopping for a brief break at a point offering incredible photo opportunities with the magnificent Paarl Valley stretched out below. We then head along the foot of Simonsberg Mountain towards Anura Wine Estate, a route on which you can give your horse its head and enjoy a canter between the vines and along charming old farm roads. At Anura, enjoy a wine and cheese tasting before strolling over to the charming Estate restaurant for an à la carte lunch with your preferred wine. We head home through the mountains with an afternoon stop at award winning estate Neil Joubert, a vineyard not normally open to the public but with whom Cape Winelands Riding has secured exclusive wine tastings for its riders. Arriving back at the yard at around 4pm, it’s time to relax before a dinner which will be a culinary showcase of traditional Cape cuisine prepared by local chefs.
Now acclimatised and comfortable with your horse, today starts with a longer exhilarating morning ride through peach, pear and plum orchards and on to a wine tasting at Backsberg, another internationally-acclaimed vineyard and the first wholly organic wine estate in the region. From there we head for the western face of Simonsberg Mountain, enjoying more spectacular views across the Paarl and Franschhoek Valley and over to the dramatic Great Drakenstein mountain range. The mountain trail takes you through refreshing eucalyptus and pine forests, ending back at the stables. After that, enjoy a late lunch hosted by another local wine farm. Without an afternoon ride today, guests can again relax at their accommodation or amble through the historical towns of Stellenbosch, Franschhoek or Paarl, a 10- to 20-minute drive away. Dinner is at a local restaurant in whichever of these towns you prefer, giving you another taste of local fine dining and wines – an experience on a par with the best international restaurants.
Today’s morning ride takes you into more unspoiled terrain in the district, through new orchards, vineyards and along estate dams. Riders can set their own pace but whether it’s a fast canter or lazy meander, it’s another exhilarating morning on horseback followed by lunch at another winery. Spend your afternoon either relaxing or playing nine holes at the local golf course.
For those wanting to venture further afield today, other full-day excursions can be arranged. Please note that these optional activities are charged extra. Some of the most popular one-day excursions are:
- Beach ride and lunch in nearby coastal town Hermanus
- Cape of Good Hope – full day sightseeing following the peninsula coastline with a visit to a protected African penguin colony
- Great White Shark Cage Diving – a day for the true adrenalin junkie
The day ends back at your accommodation and then it’s another relaxed evening sampling fine local food and wines.
Today gives you the chance to play some Western Games in our large sand arena before lunch, followed by a faster afternoon ride through Glen Carlou. Spend the late afternoon strolling through picturesque Franschhoek, a small town famous for its gastronomy and with a historical Bastille influence evident in the charming culture, shops and eateries. Dinner is a relaxed affair back at Cape Winelands Riding’s yard, giving you a chance to see us and your horses in the stable setting.
Today we step it up a notch and head out on a full day’s ride along the Simonsberg Mountain with a picnic lunch in the forest. This is a fantastic route for riders keen on a faster, more invigorating ride through the wood mill forests. A home-cooked dinner is hosted either by Cape Winelands Riding owner Louis or one of the stable’s local friends, who will pull out all the stops to make you feel one of the family, Africa-style.
Enjoy another morning ride, venturing into new unchartered trail routes if you are feeling adventurous. After some fun on horseback, we head to lunch at a popular cheese farm in the area. After lunch, we let the horses cool off in the dam while we swim with them (strictly weather permitting). Your last evening with us is spent at a local family-owned restaurant, the perfect finish to your Cape Winelands Riding experience.
It’s your last morning with us and we’ve saved the best for last. Your final ride takes you up to one of the most spectacular view points in the winelands where we crack open some champagne and reflect on the week’s highlights. After you check out, we will transfer you to the airport. If you are on an evening flight out of Cape Town, we can take you through to the V & A Waterfront in the CBD for shopping and last minute sightseeing.